Decisions, decisions

Posted on April 17,2014 by aliatmspp

As tax day approached, so, too, did the deadline to respond to invitations graduate programs. I think back to a year ago when I was buried in my own decision-making process; I had spreadsheets, pro-con columns strewn about, and the counsel of friends and family. The factors included in my process were the following:

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Tagged Change of Career, Clinical PsyD, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, Applying to MSPP

A Spotlight on Professor Gagliardi, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Posted on March 03,2014 by falimspp2013

Couples and Family Therapy Interview

A few months ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Jackie Gagliardi, who is a part of the core faculty here at MSPP and the coordinator of the Couples and Family Therapy program. I am currently taking Collaborative Therapy with Multistressed Families and Professor Gagliardi is a wonderful teacher on this subject. She holds many years in this field under her belt, and with that comes a multitude of experiences and stories. Professor Gagliardi is a licensed marriage and family therapist, clinical supervisor, consultant and co-author of Study-Guide for the Marriage and Family Therapy National Licensing Examination. She holds a Master’s in Education in Counseling and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Family Systems from Northeastern University.

For many years, Professor Gagliardi worked as a play therapist for children, and overtime she noticed that, although the children would initially improve, they would eventually come back, because the family was not working together as a unit. She realized that the work she was doing with an individual could only go so far, unless the family was brought in and everyone made an agreement to cooperate. This motivated her to pursue a CAGS in Family Systems. She also had the unique opportunity of training at the Family Institute in Cambridge, MA.

Professor Gagliardi has had a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts for 33 years specializing in individual, couple and family therapy. She also has had a consulting business, in which she had the opportunity to connect with schools, family owned business and clinics, including community agencies. While juggling all of this, she has run numerous parent groups and teacher workshops and been a critical part of Kantor Family Institute in Cambridge. Professor Gagliardi was involved in the founding of The Family Solutions Institute, which grew out of Kantor Family Institute.

Her experiences as a therapist helped drive her to teach future clinicians. She was the co-director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Cambridge College and an adjunct faculty member of the Andover Newton Theological School and at Wheelock College. She became a part of the MSPP community five years ago and is actively involved in every part of the CFT program here. In fact, she serves as an advisor to many of the CFT students, including myself.

When designing the CFT concentration at MSPP, Professor Gagliardi and the other team members decided to name the program “Couples and Family Therapy” instead of the traditional “Marriage and Family Therapy.” Professor Gagliardi advocated for this unique title because she wanted to acknowledge that the definition of relationships is changing and that there all many types of couples. “You do not need to be married to seek therapy,” she commented and specifying marriage in the title would not honor other relationships and this societal change.

Professor Gagliardi is driven by her desire to help people, thus she also finds the time to be a member of the Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health. As a part of this team, she is advocating for consumers and their protection and serves as the representatives of Marriage and Family Therapists on the board. She has the distinct chance to review applications for licensure in different disciplines.

She suggests that prospective and current students in family therapy programs should definitely go for all the way and apply for licensure as an LMFT, especially now that Massachusetts has given vendorship to LMFT’s. This means that LMFT’s can now bill insurances for the work they do, which is crucial to our progress. “Now that we have vendorship, the field will be growing and there will be an increase in jobs, especially due to Children’s Initiative, and in wraparound services and home based work,” she says.

Professor Gagliardi also recommends that therapists work to continue their education, even after they graduate. She advises that attending workshops and conferences are not only great networking tools, but also excellent ways to introduce balance into your life.

When asked about her many projects and what they mean to her, Professor Gagliardi remarks, “I am really excited because my passion is to train couples and family therapists to serve the underserved and to become competent and culturally sensitive therapists.”

Professor Gagliardi previously served as a board member of the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and back in November, MSPP hosted the MAMFT board members, who spoke with CFT students regarding career opportunities. MSPP also hosted MFT program directors for their quarterly meeting.

“I love what I do and the thing I love the most is to be able to help people communicate and find a way to live their preferred lives. I think of all the times I have met with people and how in the end, we worked to find a way to improve the quality of their life. However small or large the change was, it was contributing to their quality of life, and I had a unique hand in that,” Professor Gagliardi remarks. Her passion is not only evident in her impressive criterion but also in the stories she shares with her students. She is knowledgeable, compassionate and encouraging, and I am honored to have the opportunity to train under her guidance.

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Tagged Couples and Family Therapy, Counseling Psychology

Pearls of Wisdom... no, really!

Posted on February 06,2014 by sthurstonmspp

Among the myriad of Facebook posts (Side note: Facebook is 10?? Really? It makes me feel old to remember a time [high school!] before Facebook existed) there was the all too familiar link to a quasi-deep post that makes my eyes roll before I even finish reading. Then, however, I noticed who had posted it. Not a typical person to go in for the Oprah-like messages of transcendent learning. So I checked it out. And, I have to say, you should too.
One the reflections offered was the following:
Do not carry broken people who are not in the process of rebuilding themselves.
There have been a lot of professors who have said this in a lot of different ways. One metaphor that has stuck in my mind was shared by a man who taught us counseling: “As school psychologists we are flashlights. We can shine a light on a person’s growing edges, show them the way to bettering themselves, but it is up to them to change, to want to change.”
I truly believe this. You can lead a horse to water, and all that. But in some places, such as schools and courts, our clients are not seeking us out for change. They are assigned to us, or mandated. The real task, then, lies in guiding the person to desire change as if it were their own idea. I have been struggling with this for almost 3 months with one of my students, until today when she finally said “I wonder why I don’t have as many friends as Sarah.” Bingo, a way in! Wish me luck!

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Tagged Personal Growth, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology

Technology in the Desert and in Suicide Prevention

Posted on December 26,2013 by jeanc2013

The Holiday Season can be a lonely time of year, especially for people deployed in austere environments for the sake of patriotism and selfless duty.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Counseling Psychology, Veterans

The Root of Anxiety

Posted on October 27,2013 by falimspp2013

This past week at my practicum site, Jessica Minahan, a board-certified behavior analyst and special educator, directed a parent workshop on Helping Parents Help Kids with Anxiety. The seminar was aimed at providing parents and professionals with valuable skills and tips to help children with anxiety. This was my first seminar that I attended within the psychology field and it was a very beneficial experience. The speaker brought valuable insight about the matter at hand and was very engaging and funny.

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Tagged Change of Career, Personal Growth, Experiential Education, Counseling Psychology

Here's to new beginnings

Posted on October 15,2013 by falimspp2013

Hi everyone!

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Tagged Change of Career, Counseling Psychology, Applying to MSPP

Art Therapy at MSPP? The Healing Power of the Arts and Psychology

Posted on October 11,2013 by snguyen617

I was walking to the first floor kitchen to heat up lunch a few weeks ago when I saw some 'action' going on in the first floor lounge. In case you forgot, I'm new here. For all I know, commotion in the lounge could be a daily event. So, I ignored it. I stuck my food in the microwave, hit the auto-reheat button, ate and then went to class.

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Tagged Social Responsibility, Counseling Psychology

MSPP's Annual Gala

Posted on May 16,2013 by cpembertonmspp

MSPP held their annual Gala on Wednesday May 15th and my wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend thanks to my involvement in the Train Vets to Treat Vets program. The Gala paid tribute to both Veterans and those still serving as well as their family members, and it was an absolutely lovely experience.

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Tagged Experiential Education, Counseling Psychology, Veterans

10 Tips for Writing Capstone (and Surviving!)

Posted on March 16,2013 by mintakaori

So here it is: Ashley’s guide to writing your Capstone and surviving. If you’re a Master’s student, you’ve heard this term (“Capstone”) since you started. It’s the terrifying “thesis” project you have due at the end of your Master’s career. You might think: “40+ pages!? I can’t do that!” Newsflash: You can! It’ll be the most time consuming thing you’ve ever written, but it’s completely doable. I’ll tell you how!

1. Pick A Topic You Love

You’ll hear this a thousand times from your professors before you begin your Capstone, but it’s completely true. Make sure you pick a topic that is interesting and engages you. It needs to be a topic that you don’t mind 20+ articles on, because that’s the commitment you have to make. If you have a disorder/population that you want to specialize in, I suggest you pick something relating to that. You’re going to be working on this project for at least one semester, if not two. Make sure you can stand it, because you’re about to become a master of it.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology

Saying Goodbye

Posted on January 11,2013 by mintakaori

One of the things I think MSPP doesn't do enough is tell their students how hard goodbyes are. There is no feeling quite like saying goodbye to a client, after forming a firm, positive relationship with them. This is especially true when the goodbye is unexpected. We all know that our Practicum and Internship has an end point. The relationships we form with our clients are very temporary, even moreso sometimes than the ones we'll make when we go to work after our degrees.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Counseling Psychology